ACHRA Communique April 2024

Public notice
The Australian Council of Human Rights Authorities (ACHRA), which comprises the
state, territory and federal human rights, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination
authorities, met online on 11 April to consider a number of issues of common concern
and interest.
Last updated:
2023 ACHRA

Guest presenters were: 

• Assoc Professor Anne Hewitt (University of Melbourne) 

• Tom Dixon, Executive Officer, Play By The Rules 

• Emeritus Professor Andrew Byrnes (UNSW) 

The ACHRA members listed at the bottom of this document endorse the following statements: 

Welcome to new Commissioners 

ACHRA enthusiastically welcomes the recent appointment of the following Federal Commissioners: 

• Giridharan Sivaraman - Race Discrimination Commissioner 

• Robert Fitzgerald AM – Age Discrimination Commissioner 

• Katie Kiss - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner 

• Rosemary Kayess - Disability Discrimination Commissioner 

Each Commissioner brings extraordinary experience and depth of knowledge to their roles and is well placed to make compelling contributions to their respective portfolios. 

Research into Educational Functions 

ACHRA welcomes the research project The educational functions of Australia's Equality Commissions initiated by Anne Hewitt, Associate Professor at University of Melbourne. 

This project will examine how the federal, state and territory commissions which administer Australia’s prohibitions of discrimination (Equality Commissions) engage with the educative powers and functions provided to them under their various governing statutes. The research will enhance understanding about how commissions choose, fund, and evaluate their educational campaigns. It is hoped this information will assist ACHRA members to identify and employ best practice in selecting, funding and evaluating educational campaigns, and support arguments for their educational roles to be adequately funded. 

Support for a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons 

Emeritus Professor Andrew Byrnes presented a briefing paper ‘Ageing with Rights’. 

ACHRA notes the efforts of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), national and international Non-Government Organisations and States to develop a new convention on the rights of older persons. 

ACHRA supports the adoption of a new United Nations treaty on the human rights of older persons. 

ACHRA will advocate with the Australian Government to support a new treaty and to engage as appropriate in the international consideration of this matter. 

Farewell to President Rosalind Croucher 

ACHRA warmly farewelled Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM who completes her seven-year term as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission in July 2024. 

ACHRA notes the many achievements of the Commission under the outgoing President’s stewardship, most notably the significant progress toward comprehensive national human rights legislation. 

For further information, contact the following ACHRA members: 

ACT Dr Penelope Matthew 02 6207 4684 

NSW Helen McKenzie, President, Anti-Discrimination 02 9268 5514 

NSW Mia Zahra, Executive Manager, Anti-Discrimination 02 9268 5545

NT Jeswynn Yogaratnam, Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commissioner 08 8999 1444 

QLD Scott McDougall (ACHRA Chair), Queensland Human Rights Commissioner 07 3021 9123 

SA Jodeen Carney, South Australian Equal Opportunity Commissioner 08 7322 7764 

TAS Sarah Bolt, Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner 03 6165 7508 

VIC Ro Allen, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner 0419 894 209 

WA Dr John Byrne AM, Western Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity 08 9216 3955 

AHRC Leanne Smith, Chief Executive 02 9284 9740